2020 NFL Mock Draft

By The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson

I couldn’t let tradition fall by the wayside and NOT deliver a mock draft heading into our annual coverage of the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. With the current state of the world, shit has gotten crazy and it has completely derailed our plans at getting Joe and myself in our Orlando-based studio (shout out to WXSJ 97.3 Sunshine Jamz in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, FL for letting us use their studio on multiple occasions). But we power through and we’ll have guests on that know a ton more than us! Tune in at 6:30pm EST on our Twitch feed (www.twitch.tv/clubfantasyffl) and follow along with us as we offer up pick-by-pick analysis and all kinds of other shenanigans!

I’m certain I’m going to get about 90% of these wrong and I’m okay with it. Trades will undoubtedly move teams up and down, players up and down, and by pick six, you can probably rip it up. And that’s cool. But with teams forced to do a virtual draft, and old GMs with no sense of technology, it is bound to be an absolute shit show, continuing the theme of 2020 to date.

Let’s get to the picks!

With the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select

Joe Burrow, QB, from LSU.

People have talked about Burrow as the top pick since the end of the college football season. Zac Taylor’s offense incorporates some spread formations that Burrow should be familiar with, making his transition to leading the Bengals easier. This is the easy pick and the Bengals shouldn’t overthink it.

With the second pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select

Chase Young, DE, Ohio State.

In my opinion, Chase Young is the best player in this draft. And yet, the rumor mill is abuzz with talk that Washington could be in on a quarterback (Tua, perhaps?) or willing to trade down for a team that wants a QB (or even Young). The Redskins have gone with the “best player available” approach the last few first rounds, and this should fall into that category. Again, don’t overthink it.

With the third pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select

Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State.

THIS is where the trade activity is likely to begin. The Lions are in a prime position to move down (MIA, LAC, and even NE are rumored to be interested in moving up for a QB) and accumulate additional draft capital and still take a premium player. Okudah is the best cover corner in this draft class and, after the Lions dealt Darius Slay to PHI, corner is a need (no disrespect to Desmond Trufant). The Lions could easily stay at 3 and get their man, or trade with MIA or LAC and still get Okudah PLUS additional draft picks.

With the fourth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the New York Giants select

Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama.

The Giants are another team that could look to move back. They have a clear need along the offensive line (especially at tackle) and their defense was one of the worst in the league last year. The Giants rumor mill says the team is basically down to Wills and Simmons. GM Dave Gettleman spent a top 10 pick on a QB last year, so I’m going to bank on logic and say he goes with Wills even though he’s done little to make me (or any of us) believe he’ll do something logical.

With the fifth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select

Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon.

This pick for MIA is the equivalent of LeBron James’s “The Decision,” and the irony of the Dolphins also playing in Miami is not lost on me. The Dolphins haven’t had a true franchise QB since Dan Marino (and yes, that’s clear disrespect thrown at Ryan Tannehill) and with the tear down in full effect and the bevy of draft picks at GM Chris Grier’s disposal, they can take who they want. “Tank for Tua” was alive and well, then Tua dislocated his hip and threw the rumor mill for a loop. Will Miami gamble on Tua’s health or go the safer route with Herbert? I’ll bank on Herbert falling to them at 5, and Miami can hang-on to their draft capital.

With the sixth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers select

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama.

This should be the dream scenario for LA. A new stadium and a QB with Pacific islander roots to market. I do think the Chargers will trade up, but I think Tua is their guy, injury concerns be damned. The Chargers’ moves this offseason seem to indicate they’re preparing for a left-handed QB (Bryan Bulaga is a RT and Trae Turner is a RG, thus protecting a lefty’s blindside). In case you didn’t know, Tua is left-handed.

With the seventh pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select

Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson.

I think the Panthers could go a few different ways here (DT and OT, among them) but when you lose arguably the best linebacker of the past decade to retirement, you need to fill that hole. Simmons is a jack-of-all-trades type, but his speed at the linebacker position should remind many of Luke Kuechly.

With the eighth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals select

Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn.

The Cardinals should probably be out on wide receivers after acquiring DeAndre Hopkins from HOU, but I wouldn’t rule out CeeDee Lamb here. That said, I think Arizona goes with either an offensive tackle to protect Kyler Murray, or a defensive player to help improve the 32nd best defense in 2019. The rumors whisper about GM Steve Keim’s infatuation with Derrick Brown, so that’s my pick here.

With the ninth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select

Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville.

The Jaguars have two first round picks, so they could be in a position to move down and continue stockpiling picks as they blow the whole team up. They have needs on defense (corner and defensive line, specifically), so players like C.J. Henderson and Javon Kinlaw could be in play, but the upside of Mekhi Becton could be too much to pass up as the Jags move forward with Gardner Minshew at QB. Drafting Becton actually improves not just one position, but two, as they can insert Becton at LT and move incumbent Cam Robinson inside to LG.

With the tenth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select

Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia.

The Browns had a terrible offensive line last year, and one of their big expenditures in free agency landed them RT Jack Conklin. With only two of the Big 4 tackles left on the board, the Browns have their pick. Georgia’s Andrew Thomas fits more with the Browns run-first approach. There’s buzz that Cleveland could potentially move down the board, maybe with a team looking to pounce on a WR, but if they stay, I think Thomas is the pick.

With the eleventh pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select

Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa.

The Jets have signed five offensive linemen this offseason, but none of them possess the upside of Tristan Wirfs. Sam Darnold can only reach the upside of a franchise QB if he stays upright and on the field (he’s missed three games in each of his two seasons), so protecting him should be a priority. Wide receiver is definitely an option after losing Robby Anderson in free agency, but the depth of this WR class means they can afford to wait.

With the twelfth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Oakland Las Vegas Raiders select

CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma.

After trading for Antonio Brown last offseason and watching that blow up in their face, the Raiders clearly need an alpha dog for Derek Carr (or Marcus Mariota or a yet-to-be-selected rookie QB) to throw to. Lamb is the best WR in this class, but it wouldn’t shock me if GM Mike Mayock fell in love with Jerry Jeudy or went back to the Clemson pipeline and drafted Tee Higgins. But I’m giving them Lamb because I can’t predict the Eagles trading in front of them to snag him.

With the thirteenth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select

Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama.

The 49ers have this pick after dealing DE DeForest Buckner to the Colts. With one stud receiver off the board, the 49ers are likely in the market for someone to pair with last year’s breakout, Deebo Samuel. SF only has one receiver currently on their roster who had more than 30 receptions last year (Samuel), so adding Jeudy makes a ton of sense.

With the fourteenth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Tompa Tampa Bay Bucs select

Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina.

The Bucs had the best run defense in the league last year, so DT probably isn’t a need. However, Ndamakong Suh is only on a one-year deal, so drafting an eventual replacement is smart. The Bucs could trade back and go with one of the second tier OTs or even go with another weapon for Brady in the form of a receiver like Henry Ruggs or Justin Jefferson. But Kinlaw is a stud and they’d be hard pressed to pass on him and his ability as an interior pass rusher.

With the fifteenth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select

Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama.

A match made in heaven. Ruggs’ outside speed opposite Courtland Sutton and Drew Lock’s big arm could catapult Denver’s offense to one of the best in the league. Love this fit.

With the sixteenth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select

K’Lavon Chaisson, DE, LSU.

There’s a ton of buzz about Atlanta making a big move into the top ten to snag their guy. Who exactly that guy is remains the big question. Is it C.J. Henderson, the corner from Florida? Is it K’Lavon Chaisson, the edge rusher from LSU? They did sign Dante Fowler to a 3-year deal, so that could put Chaisson on the outs, but when you play in a division that has Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and Teddy Bridgewater — all QBs with quick releases — you need edge rushers with speed. Fowler has it and so does Chaisson. I’ll lean Chaisson in this scenario.

With the seventeenth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select

C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida.

After losing Byron Jones in free agency, the Cowboys have a huge hole at corner. Henderson is the consensus 2nd best corner in the draft and could easily be a top 10 pick, so if he falls to 17, this would be a steal for Dallas.

With the eighteenth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select

Austin Jackson, OT, USC.

The Dolphins have this pick after dealing S Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers during the 2019 season. After drafting their potential franchise QB at 5, now it’s time to protect him. MIA added G Ereck Flowers and C Ted Karras via free agency, now they need a tackle (or two) to add to the mix. Austin Jackson is rife with potential and a big body that defensive ends struggle getting around. He’s also only 20, meaning if he hits, you have a stud for MANY years.

With the nineteenth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Oakland Las Vegas Raiders select

Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU.

The Raiders have this pick as part of the Khalil Mack trade with Chicago a couple of years ago. After filling their need at WR, the Raiders turn their attention to the defense. Mayock likes winners at the collegiate level, and Kristian Fulton just won a National Championship with LSU. Fulton can lock down opposing number 1 receivers, and with the likes of Tyreek Hill, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Courtland Sutton in the division, he’ll be tested quickly.

With the twentieth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select

Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU.

The Jaguars have this pick after dealing Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams. After releasing the oft-injured Marqise Lee this week, I wouldn’t be shocked at all if the Jaguars pull the trigger on a wide receiver. They got a breakout campaign from second-year WR D.J. Chark, and Dede Westbrook was reliable out of the slot. Adding a versatile threat like Jefferson who can play inside and outside gives Minshew plenty to work with.

With the twenty-first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select

Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan.

It’s no secret the Eagles have a glaring need at WR. I’m in the camp they should trade up and get Lamb (or whichever receiver they deem the best in this class), even if it means sacrificing some much needed draft capital. The Eagles have had plenty of meetings with Cesar Ruiz and after taking OT Andre Dillard as they prepared to move on from incumbent LT Jason Peters, selecting Ruiz accomplishes the same thing for Philly as incumbent C Jason Kelce has hinted at retirement for several years now. Receiver is deep this year, so Philly can afford to wait.

With the twenty-second pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select

Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah.

The Vikings received this pick from Buffalo in the Stefon Diggs trade, and after parting ways with their top three corners from a year ago — Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Mackenzie Alexander — corner should be a high priority for Minnesota. Jaylon Johnson is a stud on the outside, has the height teams like (6’0”), and isn’t afraid to tackle — a needed skill in a Mike Zimmer defense.

With the twenty-third pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots select

Zach Baun, LB, Wisconsin.

In this scenario, I wouldn’t be surprised if New England made the decision to draft Jordan Love. But I’m banking on the Patriots having other ideas than spending a 1st round pick on a QB that isn’t in the top 5. Zach Baun has first round talent, even if he doesn’t go in the first round, but he has the versatility and the feel of a Bill Belichick pick to fill the void left behind by Kyle Van Noy on his way to Miami.

With the twenty-fourth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints select

Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma.

The Saints don’t have a ton of needs, but linebacker could use an upgrade. With Kenneth Murray still on the board, this feels like an easy pick. Maybe the Saints have local product Patrick Queen rated higher, but I’m a huge fan of Murray and his sideline to sideline speed.

With the twenty-fifth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select

Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota.

Maybe a safety doesn’t go in round one. But it’s hard to deny the connections between Minnesota and Winfield, whose father once played with the Vikings. Winfield is on the smaller side at 5’9” but the versatility he brings as a centerfield safety and a slot corner should fit nicely in Zimmer’s defense.

With the twenty-sixth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select

Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama.

The Dolphins have this pick from Houston as part of last season’s Laremy Tunsil trade. The Dolphins spent a lot of money in free agency on the defensive side of the ball but still have a glaring hole at safety after parting ways with Reshad Jones. MIA could go RB with someone like J.K. Dobbins, Jonathan Taylor, or D’Andre Swift to secure that 5th year on his rookie contract, but with an early 2nd round pick, they can fill that need there. McKinney can play in the box or back deep and has ball skills that any team can benefit from.

With the twenty-seventh pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select

Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin.

Defensive end is a HUGE need with last year’s starters Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah both currently unsigned free agents. Yetor Gross-Matos and A.J. Epenesa could be on the Seahawks radar but I feel like they forced drafting a DE last year (L.J. Collier) and that didn’t pay dividends in Year One. I also wouldn’t rule out a trade back, but Chris Carson’s fumbling problems and the fact that Rashaad Penny tore his ACL last year means a running back could be in play at some point in this draft. Taylor is the most decorated running back in this class and would have a superstar-level impact if picked by Seattle.

With the twenty-eighth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select

Patrick Queen, LB, LSU.

Baltimore has lost a lot on defense over the last couple of years and no one really filled the hole left by LB C.J. Mosley. Patrick Queen has elite coverage skills and can help fill the void Mosley left sooner rather than later.

With the twenty-ninth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans select

Josh Jones, OT, Houston.

After losing Jack Conklin in free agency, RT becomes a big need. Jones was predominantly a LT in college, so a transition to RT could be cumbersome at first, but their run-first approach should ease the transition.

With the thirtieth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select

Jordan Love, QB, Utah St.

This has shades of the Brett Favre era. Aaron Rodgers is no spring chicken, so planning for his eventual retirement should be a priority for Green Bay. Jordan Love could be a top 10 pick or he could fall to the 2nd round. If he starts to fall, and the Packers have done their homework, Love could have a future as a Cheesehead where he can sit and learn for a few years.

With the thirty-first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select

Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi St.

I fully expect the 49ers to bail on this pick. They have no picks in rounds two, three, or four, so trading back would help replenish their cupboard of draft capital. But if they stay at 31, corner could be on their radar. They had an excellent secondary last year but were exposed by the speed on Kansas City’s offense in the Super Bowl. Dantzler’s long frame can help keep receivers in front of him, making speed less of a factor.

With the thirty-second pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select

Jordan Elliott, DT, Missouri.

With the Chiefs up against the cap and needing to extend DT Chris Jones and QB Patrick Mahomes, I could see them bailing on this pick to save money. If they stay, defensive line could be a route they take. Jones was franchised and has yet to agree to a long term deal. If they can’t lock him up, Jordan Elliott could serve as a replacement. Don’t rule out a corner here as well after losing Kendall Fuller to the Redskins.

And that’s that, folks! Enjoy the NFL Draft and may all your teams draft players that will lead you to the Promised Land! (Unless you’re a Cowboys fan. Fuck the Cowboys. GO BIRDS!)